Class #4589

Pilates Power Mat

50 min - Class


Get ready to add modern movements for strength training to your Pilates practice. Delia Buckmaster teaches dynamic and full-body movements to get your heart pumping. This is the perfect class to help you find your power.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jun 24, 2021
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Hi, y'all. I'm Delia Buckmaster, and welcome to class six of the "Level Up" series on Pilates Anytime. And I am here at my studio in Whitefish, Montana. And today we're gonna be doing a Pilates power mat. And basically what we are gonna be starting with is just some traditional stretches and warm up.

Then we'll go onto the mat and do some exercises that we will accelerate with not so much speed, but a little bit of endurance. And then we'll end on the mat with a traditional cool-down. So we're gonna start on the knees. So on your knees here. Hands are gonna be just underneath your shoulders in a quadruped position.

Just a few cat stretches here to see what your spine is doing. So just mobilize the spine in a cat cow. Hands are underneath the shoulders, knees are underneath the hips, and start to sink a breath. So your breath work is really important in the very beginning as much as it is throughout your class so that you can flow through each exercise. It's like you're setting the tone for your workout.

And then from here, take one foot. I'm gonna take my right foot forward into a low lunge position, and just get a nice little stretch of my left hip flexor. As simple as this exercise may seem, it's not that easy for a lot of people. So if you're having a hard time getting to this position, find an alternative, maybe a standing lunge for you. And then from here, I'm gonna extend my forward leg, curl my toes up and feel a stretch of the back of my leg.

So my hamstring down towards my heel, and I'm just gonna shift forward and back on that, making it a little bit more dynamic. I'm also focusing on my core. So I'm thinking about pulling my abdominals in, my inner core, my lower back muscles, my pelvic floor, and those types of things. So a little bit more of a stretch. And then I'm gonna hold a little lunge here.

And I'm gonna place my left hand on the floor and take my right arm towards the ceiling so I can do a little rotation here. Be careful in the beginning. As much as it is about the rotation of the spine, you'll also feel a little bit more of a stretch in that left hip flexor as you reach your arm up. I'm gonna take my hand back to the floor, and then I'm gonna switch legs. So my left foot is gonna come forward, and I'm going to hold that lunge.

So I'm gonna open up my right hip flexor, center my knee over my foot. And then I'm gonna go into that hamstring stretch, curl the toes up, and then move forward and back, and sink a breath, inhale, exhale. Whatever it is that's going to stretch out that hamstring. Good. And hold it back here and stretch.

And then I'm gonna come into a little rotation, right hand down, left arm up, and I'm gonna pause here, shoulders wide. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. And then come back to center. And then go into a little child's pose. So my forehead's gonna come to the floor, fingertips reach forward, shoulders stretch, and I'm gonna come down to my belly.

So we're gonna go right into some extension here. So I'm gonna place my hands on top of each other, forehead on the hands, pressing my hips down into the mat. I'm gonna take my right leg up into a little extension. So I'm gonna lift my head so that way you can hear me talking, but my left leg lifts, or my right leg, excuse me. I'm pressing my hip into the mat.

I'm rising with my glute muscle, actually, and stretching my quad. And then I'm gonna do it again on the other side. So just a little single leg extension, and you can rest your forehead on your hands. Your hands are stacked nicely. Your abdominals are pulled in.

Your shoulders are wide. Good. And then making sure that you're not moving through the lower back. So as you're lifting the legs, you're not twisting into your lumbar spine. You're actually just activating the glutes and then opening up through the hip. And then let's add a little spinal flexion with that.

So I'm gonna take you up into an all fours position again, and then I want you to find that single leg extension. So I'm gonna take that right leg out and reach it out. Pause here. So it should feel about the same, except now your core is having to work to hold you in this position, but I'm gonna take my right knee in towards my chest and round my spine so I can really feel my back stretching. And I'm gonna extend my right leg away and open up the hip.

So it's an exhale to round the spine and an inhale to extend the spine. And I'm gonna continue to scoop the abdominals in, and then I'm gonna open up the abs. So I want you to think about your body in opposition. So as you reach your leg away from you, think about opening the front of your body, not as much extending your body. And as you round, think more about stretching your back more so than working your abs.

Let's try it again on the other side. My left leg is gonna go back into that extension, and I'm gonna flex my spine round, and then extend my spine. Knee to nose. Head moves away from the heel. And continue, exhale, breath, and inhale.

Play around with your breath. So if you inhale as you tuck the knee in towards the chest, you might feel a little bit more of a stretch in your back. Let's just do one more. And then I'm gonna bring my knee down, curl my toes under, and then lift up into pike position just to stretch my heels. Now, I do this a lot in my classes because I think it's a really great way to assess my hamstring flexibility and my shoulder stability and strength in the morning or whenever I do my workout.

So from here, I'm gonna shift down and bring my knees down right on to the mat. And I'm gonna lift myself back up to a pike position. If you started on all fours with the knees under the hips and the hands under the shoulders, then you should rise right into that perfect pike or that upside down teaser. And I want you to think about the shoulders as a pivot joint and the hip as a hinge joint. Let's take the knees down and then take the legs back up.

Now, hold it here in your pike, and then walk your hands forward. Or your feet forward, I'm sorry. Your hands back, or whatever's easier for you. And then roll yourself up into a standing position. While you're here, let's try some squats.

Arms forward and back, and butt comes back, the glutes come down into that squat position. And now I'm mobilizing the shoulders. I got my blood flowing on all fours, and now I'm moving in a standing position. Normally, you would start standing, but I thought it was important to maybe find all those parts and pieces on the mat where it seems to just a little bit more safe. And then once we get on our feet, we could really feel the connection to the feet and glutes.

And then up towards our hands. Just a few more of these, one more. And then I'm gonna take you through some lunges. So I would like for you to take your right leg back and bring it underneath your right knee. So I just stepped back to where my knee is under my hip.

My left knee is right over the center of my foot. So I'm just gonna step forward and back. And then thinking about my alignment. So I'm in parallel. And be careful here as you step back.

If you feel any knee load, be conservative with where you step back and how low you go. And then continue to feel that energy through your inner core. So your transverse abdominis muscle, your pelvic floor, the multifidus muscle, the diaphragm, all of it kind of coming together. I'm gonna try the other side. Left leg back and forward.

And now you'll notice there's a difference in balance. The balance a lot of times comes from the glute. So the side of the body that's a little bit harder to balance is the glute that might not be firing correctly. So pay attention to that, pay attention to what the knee is doing in that lunge. And then lastly, let's alternate.

Right leg back, left leg back, and then continue with that lunge. Breathing. As you can see, I'm kind of heavy breathing here. But I'm really assessing what's going on with my body. Getting nice and warm.

Just one more on each side. And then pause. Reach those arms up to the sky. We're gonna come back down to all fours. So roll yourself down, place your hands on the floor, and then drop the knees down to an all fours position.

From here, sit back in your child's pose so we could find the right position for the next exercise. My hands are on the mat. My bottom is down towards my heel. So this should feel comfortable. And if you can't get down real low because of your knees, then just modify.

I'm gonna shift my weight forward. So it's loaded over the wrists. So I'm kind of in a modified push-up position, and I'm gonna press back into my child's pose. And I'll do it again. So some of these exercises that we just did in the beginning will start to flow into combos.

So you'll recognize what we did a few minutes ago as it incorporates into the next series. Now I'm gonna start to curl my toes under so that when I come back, I'm actually stretching the toes. And if you're a Pilates person, instructor, or just really into the method, you'll know that the feet are really important. So I want you to really, really push into the feet to get those toes to stretch. Now, come back into that child's pose, and then lift up into your pike position and try not to adjust the position of your feet to hands.

And then bring the knees back down, and let's do it in threes. Let's just go 1, 2, 3. And then find that pike. So my goal would be that with every repetition, every set, that I would get just a little bit deeper into that stretch and feel a little bit better about my down dog or pike. Drop those heels down, head drops.

Let's do that one more time, forward and back. 2, 3, and then back up into that pike position. Now I'm gonna drop those knees down. And then I'm gonna add a little pushup. So I'm gonna press back into my heels, hands out in front.

I'm not gonna lift my knees. I'm gonna shift my weight forward, bend my elbows so that I can bring my chest closer to the floor in a pushup. And I'm gonna press back to my heels, and I'll do it again. Bend, and then press back. And then this could be sped up depending on your control and lumbopelvic stability.

And what I do like about this, I'm not a huge push-up fan. So I always try to create modifications for them. I just, my shoulder doesn't like it. So if I do these on my knees and make it a little bit more dynamic, then I feel like I could actually use a teeny bit of momentum but with control. One more.

And then go ahead and come back up to your pike. We're gonna stand back up again. Walk your feet forward, roll yourself up. And if you're dizzy, please be careful as you stand, as the blood distributes around your body. Let's try those squats again.

Down and up, arms forward and back. So same thing. So with every set of these, you should feel a little bit different. So really think about being on your feet now, if it feels a little bit more of a connection from your feet to your glutes and then glutes to your shoulders, creating a lot of energy and blood flow. Inhale, exhale.

Good. One more. And now we're gonna stand up and try some front lunges. So I'm gonna step my right foot forward instead of back this time. Setting my left knee under my hip, right knee over my foot, and back. Same leg forward and back.

Now, modification would be to keep that back heel down, and then just step that foot forward. So that way you've got a little bit more of an anchor behind you. Otherwise, if you have it in you and your body likes it, step forward and back, and forward and back. One more, and then try the other side. One and back.

Your arms can do whatever they want. I kind of move them around for counterbalance, honestly. If you had weights and want to repeat this class, this is definitely a great class to add a little bit more to that upper body if you'd like. Play around with this workout, make it your own. One more.

And then alternate, forward and back, forward and back. I always find frontline just to be a little bit more challenging, then back lunges. And then you can also place your hands on your hips to make sure that your hips are nice and Stable. Let's just try one more on each side. So we'll go right forward, left forward, and return.

Catch your breath. Let's reach our arms up to the sky. And roll down for a little stretch. And then this time we're just gonna drop your knees, and then have a seat. Nice work.

So most of the standing stuff is over until the end. So we're gonna go into some traditional mat exercises here. We're gonna lie down on the back, and we are actually gonna go right into your hundred. So legs out to table top to start. Squeeze those thighs together.

Arms reach overhead. Come up to your hundred. Everyone's is a little bit different depending on how they feel. So I'm gonna extend my legs, extend my arms, and start to pump. Inhale 2, 3, 4, 5, exhale, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Inhale 2, 3, 4, 5, exhale, 2, 3, 4. 20. Inhale. Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 30, inhale. Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 40. Continue. You're halfway there. (breathes deeply) Inhale 2, 3, 4, 5, exhale, 2, 3, 4, 60, inhale 2, 3, 4, 5, exhale, 2, 3, 4, 70, inhale.

Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 80, inhale. Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 90. Last set. Pause, lower those legs a little more. Pause, lower them a little more.

Pause, one more. And then just bring the knees in towards the chest and rest your head. Take your legs up towards the ceiling now, with your legs perpendicular to your hips, and then soften them about 90 degrees. Let's cross the right ankle over the left ankle and pressing the arms down by your side. A little reverse curl.

Take your pelvis, tilt it back. So posterior, and then lower your back down. So they're not actually called lower abs as far as your abs are concerned anatomically, but the region that you want to think about is those low abs. So pulling it in. So I'm thinking about bringing that pubic bone towards my belly button.

Now, if your head and shoulders get involved, then you're going too far, because this part of your body is not responsible for the lower half. Your next responsibility is your head. So I want you to press your arms into the mat and really feel the abs working. Let's reverse the legs. So left over right, and continue.

So the nice thing about doing it with your legs crossed is the bottom leg helps you out. So you get a little help by pulling up with that bottom leg Just two more. One more. And then bend the knees, extend the legs all the way out. Here comes your roll up, squeeze those thighs together, reach your arms up and overhead.

Arms come up, head and shoulders come up. You flex, and you pause at the top. I always assess the first one. Look at your knees like it's the edge of a building. Squeeze those thighs together, stretch the upper-middle back.

Roll yourself down. Roll up can be done as quick as you can actually maintain control. If your arms are pointing or palms are pointing down towards each other, it doesn't matter. What matters is the mobility of the shoulders as you come up and maintaining about shoulder-width apart with your arms. My toes are pointed, but you can certainly try them flexed.

And it actually makes it for me a little bit harder to flex my feet. So play around with both. Inhale, exhale. (breathes deeply) Let's do three more. Two, squeezing those thighs together. Last one.

Roll it up, now pause at the top. Okay, I'm just gonna adjust myself forward. One of the disadvantages of a high mat is that there is a crease in the center. So now I'm gonna stretch forward. I'm gonna grab onto my right ankle wherever you could reach.

As I start to roll back to the mat, I'm gonna lift that leg. And as I lift that leg, I'm gonna find that end-range flexibility, and then I'm gonna try to increase that flexibility as I roll down my mat and my bottom left heel drags. Yeah, and then I have my leg right above my hip, almost as though I'm gonna go onto the scissor legs. Then I'm gonna walk myself back up my leg and then lower that leg to the mat. I'm gonna grab the other one.

So you're back in the top of that roll-up position. I'm gonna lift that leg, find that end-range flexibility. Walk down the legs as I come down the mat, bringing my hands maybe more to my hamstring to get that stretch. And then I'm gonna walk myself back up the leg and lower it. We're gonna alternate.

Right leg up, walk down. Stay flexed in the upper body. Climb that tree, lower that leg down. And then continue. If the speed of this workout is too fast for you, slow it down.

It won't matter that you're doing less repetition. It's not about the repetition. It's the precision of the repetition. So if you start to lose form, control, and fluidity, you need to go ahead and stop that exercise and move on. It doesn't make you stronger to push through like that.

I'm gonna do one more on each side. So I'm gonna take my leg up, and I feel, maybe I'm imagining it, that I'm getting more flexible. I'm gonna walk up and then lower. My own little Pilates reality. Oh look at that, a little bit higher.

Stretch, and then back up. Now I'm gonna grab my right leg, go back into that position. And then this will be beautifully transition into scissor legs. So I'm gonna grab, I'll take that left leg, and I'm floating it off the mat. And I want you to really feel the energy out of the right toe, out of the left toe.

Pulse the leg towards you twice. 1, 2, switch. 1, 2. (blows) Gaining that flexibility and control of the hip. As the leg lowers to the mat, can you feel the glute control it so it doesn't just drop onto the mat? Abdominals are working.

There's no tension at my shoulders. I'm not using my legs to stay up there. I'm using my upper body to stretch my legs. One more on each side. Now both legs come up, and then you lower back down.

Let's do a little stretch by extending the left leg long and taking the right leg up towards the ceiling. And then I'm just gonna bend and pull that knee to my chest. Pause. And I'm gonna take up and over and stretch the hip, the IT band. I'm gonna look over my right shoulder.

Nothing says you can't take a moment and stretch what you just worked. It's not gonna make your workout less effective. Let's go ahead and try the other side. Left knee in and stretch that hip. And then extend that leg.

The glorious part of Pilates is getting that core activation and also that mobility with it, which is really nice. Looking over that left shoulder. And then I'm gonna bring those knees in. Maybe give myself another little rock from side to side. And then extend your legs long, and then just flip over.

So I'm gonna go right into extension from flexion. And then open up the front of the body. My arms are gonna come down, and then I've done this almost at every class of the series, but these are called press-ups. I want you to relax the legs behind you. So don't tighten anything.

Let the legs fall parallel behind you. Forearms are down, hands are down. Lift your eyes in the crown of the ceiling, crown of the head to the ceiling, and then lower yourself down. Pushing into the palms to create length at the front of your body, and then keep your eyes peered forward as long as possible. So as you're coming down, you're continuing to feel that opening of your chest and neck.

inhale to lift up, and exhale to lower. And continue. If you want to gain more extension, all you have to do is shift the hand slightly back, and it's gonna get you up just a teeny bit higher. And lift, and lower. Ah, it feels really good.

And also if you do these every day, if it doesn't hurt you, then it's gonna be good for you. It also gives you a tricep workout, and I do love that. Two more times. You're gonna inhale to lift up. Exhale to lower.

Last one as you lift up. And then go ahead and lower yourself all the way down, slow, slow, slow, slow, slow, and then take your arms out in front. I'm gonna have you place your fingertips down onto the mat. So instead of your palm, your fingertips, so that you could push into all 10 fingers and then lift your head out of your shoulders like a turtle out of the shell. Try that a couple of times.

Just let it go. And then push into the fingertips, straightening out the arms and pulling the shoulders out of the ears. Now hold that. Press the pubic bone down into the mat, and then float the legs up. So now my legs are up.

My fingertips are down. I'm shifting forward here a little bit because my toes were touching upright. So I want you to just hold here. Now just swim the legs. Okay, just the legs.

Inhale and exhale. And you can do a hundred breath when you swim your legs. I prefer to do my swimming slow. I don't like to move real quick with the swimming 'cause I really want to focus on that hip opening more so than the glute working, because I don't want to over-squeeze the glute. And I really am always looking for a hip flexor stretch.

Okay? So now relax everything back down. You got that part. Now float the legs back up, float the arms back up. Let's remove one of the arms.

So let's take the right hand off of the mat and continue to swim. Now let's bring that arm back towards your hips. Look over your right shoulder. And then bring that arm forward. We're gonna do one arm only.

So the arms sweeps back, palm faces your hip. You look over your right shoulder, continue to swim. You'll do that one more time for a total of three. And then you bring it back. Fingertips go down, and swim to the other side.

And then reach forward. Almost as though you're trying to take that breath out of water. If this is a lot for your lower back, stop the swimming, hold the legs still, and just move into the extension and rotation of the upper part of your body. I think that was three. Now we're gonna alternate, one on each side.

Inhale, exhale. (breathes deeply) Inhale, exhale. Continue. And bring that hand forward. And one more time. And then bring that arm forward, and then release.

Placing the hands to the side of the shoulders, go ahead and push yourself back into a little stretch. Child's pose. And then this time we're gonna take one arm and thread it underneath the other to stretch that shoulder. Drop the ear down to the mat. Feel how that shoulder blade moves away from the opposite hip, and then take it to the other side.

Get that little stretch, open up the shoulder. And then back to center. And then coming up to tall knees, okay? So I'm gonna turn towards you, but you don't necessarily have to turn. So that way it's easier for me to transition, because I'm on a high mat.

So we're gonna go into a little bit of a thigh stretch. I will do both sides. So you'll see me front, and I'll also show you side. Arms are gonna be by your side. Pelvis is a neutral.

Go ahead and lean back as far as you can to stretch your thighs The top of the knees to the top of the hip. And then come back up. The arms move for counterbalance. Inhale, and then exhale. Now I'm gonna turn sideways so you can see it.

So it's an inhale to lean back, and then exhale. And these are gonna transition to some thigh exercises, but I want you to really try to find that end-range, open up through the hips. Another variation of stretching the thighs would be just to stand up and hold onto one foot and stretch your quad. Or you could actually drop into shoulder bridge. And that will also stretch your thighs.

Now let's work on pelvis mobility while we're in this position. So if you're familiar with imprint and release or posterior anterior movement of the pelvis, go ahead and do that while you're here. So tilt the pelvis forward, tilt the pelvis back. As you tilt the pelvis back, I want you to find that smile line, hip bone to hip bone. As you tilt the pelvis forward, I want you to think about the tailbone reaching back behind you.

So we're gonna do that same movement but with a hover over the heels. So let's go ahead and take the arms out in front. Drop the heels or the bottom towards the heels, find your end range, and then drop your hips and come to that hover. Let's start with the hands at the hips and do those little pelvic curls. Your quads will work here, obviously, because you're in that hover.

If this bugs your knees, come back to tall knees, or come to your feet and practice these pelvic curls. And now take your arms out in front of you for counterbalance, and then you can go a little bit deeper into those pelvic curls. And I want you to think about the tailbone coming between the legs. So you can feel the glute movement, but pay attention. What's working here?

Besides everything, actually, because I'm sweating. Flex, extend. Navel to the spine. I haven't been counting. So if you're resting, that's fine. Two more. (breathes deeply) Last one.

And then come all the way back up. That should have gotten your heart rate up just a bit. Let's do a little stretch. Right arm comes up, right hand goes to the heel, and then bring that left arm to the ceiling and just stretch the hips. Hold, and then come back up.

And then try the other side, a little stretch. Ah. And then if you'd like, bring both hands back if that works for you or alternate again. Right side, left side, open up the shoulders, breathe, and then carefully windmill yourself out of there. Ah, and I'm gonna turn towards you now for side leg work kneeling.

So airplane arms, and I'm gonna have you just go into that airplane motion. And by going into the airplane motion, what I'm trying to get you to feel, and myself to feel, is the lengthening on one side and the shorting on the other. I know this sounds obvious, but we tend to go towards gravity and think about that more. So I want you to think about the stretch that's happening on the other side. Now let's take the right hand down, take the left leg out, and place the left hand behind the head.

So my left leg is parallel, and it's the height of my hip. And I'm just gonna lower and lift that leg. Lift, lift. Think about the supporting leg as well. Don't be so focused on it that you feel like you're not in the right position.

The foot doesn't have to be perfectly hidden behind your thigh. As long as your upper body feels stable, and that you truly feel the hip mobility and not your lower back, then you should be fine, especially if there's no pressure on that bottom knee. Now we're gonna pulse for 3. 1, 2, 3 lower, and again. 1, 2, 3, and lower, and continue. (blows) And again, just to intensify that abductor work.

The top of the thigh, or the glute, the top of the thigh, and also your lower back will work for stability. Now come back to tall knees, and immediately just go over to the other side to keep that momentum going, and then just lower and lift that leg. If you drop down and that arm is not in the right position, you are not in concrete. I need you to fix yourself. You can catch up on those repetitions or try the workout again later.

Up and down, up and down. You'll notice one side always feels different than the other. Now let's add those three pulses 1, 2, 3, and down. And lift 1, 2, 3, and lower. Nice work.

Continue, 2, 3. And again. (exhales) It's almost like I'm trying to get a little further, a little further, a little further. One more. Lift, lift, lift, and now come up. Now we're gonna alternate.

So right-hand comes down, left leg goes up. You go 1, 2, 3. Use the core to come up to your tall knees. And the other side, 1, 2, 3, and lift. Good, just leveling up those side leg works by adding a little balance, a little coordination, a little power.

Lift it up. Good. And again. 1, 2, 3. I love the side kneeling legwork. It's one of my favorites.

And again, one more set, 1, 2, 3. Especially thinking about getting that leg up just a teeny bit higher. 1, 2, 3, come all the way up, and then release. So hopefully that got your heart rate up just a little bit. We're gonna have a seat.

So once you're on your seat, we're gonna extend the legs out and open them about the width of your mat apart. Give yourself a little quick stretch, see how your back feels here. Take your time, if you need. And then sit all the way up. Now, hopefully with all the variations that we've done up to this point, those hamstrings feel a little bit more supple, and you have a really great connection, feet to hips, hips to head.

So really extend those legs. Give me a nice tall spine, and take your arms out, palms facing forward. We're gonna go right into your saw. So rotate the upper body, keep the feet steady, and take the left pinky finger to the right pinky toe as a right palm turns up, and you get a nice long movement from fingertip to fingertip opposition. Sit up tall and find other side.

Do a few of these pausing at the bottom to make sure that you really get that movement. Make sure the feet aren't pedaling like you're driving a stick shift. So I want the feet to stay really connected like they're up against a wall. Now let's add a quicker breath pattern so that this feels a little bit more like a stretch and a little bit more endurance. So you're gonna inhale to reach and stretch, exhale to switch.

And continue. My eyes are looking at my knees. My knees are the edge of a building. I am trying to really stretch that swim stroke, palm to palm. When I come up out of that flexion, it feels like somebody is pulling my fingertips back to pull me up.

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. We're gonna do one more on each side, continuing with that movement, and then come back to center and then hands down. Our legs are already open, might as well do some open leg rocker variation. So feet comes flat, knees are bent, hands behind the hamstrings.

Sit up tall. Okay. I actually like to wiggle my spine up a little bit. So I'm pushing into the palms with my thighs, shoulders back. I'm gonna first do a little pelvic curl, a little roll back. So I'm just gonna do a little half roll back, keeping my feet steady on my mat.

And then I'm gonna sit back up. I'm just finding that lower back flexion as though I'm gonna go into that open-leg rocker, but not quite. Now I'm gonna roll back, take my right leg up. Sit up, roll back, take my left leg up, and then sit up. And while you're doing that, no pressure should be on your sacrum.

So you really want to actively flex that spine and keep the legs open about the width of your mat. One more with just single leg, and then back. Now both legs, and then feet come down. If you fall, no big deal; no one's watching. Feet down. Sit up.

I take a lot of risks on this high mat by adding open-leg rocker or rolling like a ball. Woop, and then back up. Now tilt that pelvis back, sit on the fatty part of your bum. Take your right leg up, take your left leg up. Take your right leg down and then left.

Now alternate left, right, left, down. Right, left, right, down. I'm holding onto my thighs. They're a little assist. It's like my little hip flexor helper.

And again, one more. And then sit all the way back up. More variations, we're gonna roll it back. Scoop the abdominals in. Legs are gonna come up to that tabletop position.

I'm gonna reach now for my ankles. So now my hands are on my ankles. I'm gonna extend my right leg, bend, extend my left leg. And as I'm doing that, as my toe reaches to the sky, I'm actually imagining a rubber band, like my toe to my belly button. As I reach my toe up, I'm stretching that rubber band.

And to get it to not snap, I'm controlling it with my abs. Inhale, exhale. Now I'm gonna try both legs. Inhale, exhale. This is my hiking exercise.

So when I'm out in the woods and I get to the top of a peak, I go into open-leg rocker. I used to do teaser, but by the time you climb, all that elevation, your hip flexors are shot. I kind of need to hold my legs, and then open it up. Now, hold it right here. Just pause for 8, 7.

Get that chest up really high, feel that flexibility for 4, 3, 2, and 1, bend the knees. You're welcome. We didn't actually go into an open-leg rocker. We just did all the variations. So feet down, and then legs out.

Okay, now take those arms up to the ceiling and stretch. And then take those arms out to the side. Feel the mobility in your shoulder, and place your hands where they would fall on the mat. Let's do that again. Arms come up and circle.

And then they come back and land. Now arms come up and circle. And when they land, lean slightly back. And then hold that position. Hopefully now you're in the exact position you need to be for back support.

So now lift the hips up and find that hip extension, opening up the chest, and don't drop the chin all the way back. I want you to think about the neck and shoulders and head being consistent with the middle back. Drop the hips back down. Now sit up tall, let's do the whole thing again. Arms forward, arms up, arms back, hips lift.

And again. Sweep the arms forward, up and back, and lift. Yes, you're adding a teeny bit of momentum, but what you're also gaining is a little bit of awareness of where you are in space. There's so many exercises that we do in Pilates where we have to make all these little adjustments or the teacher comes over and adjusts. But to know how to get into certain positions are really nice.

Arms up, you know your end range, you lift, and then you lower. Let's add a single leg extension with that, or flexion, I'm sorry. So arms forward, up, rise, and then lift the right leg. Lower down. Circle up and around.

Then the left leg comes up, inhale, lower. And again. Now all of these could be done with your feet flat and your knees bent. So if you actually can't do these because of your knees or whatever ails you, ankles, then you could always put the feet down. And reach, inhale, and then up.

Now on the next one, we're gonna hold it up. Reach, hold it up. Hold, lower that leg three times. 1, 2, 3, lower the leg, lower the bottom. Arms forward, arms up.

Hands back, lift. Down and up (blows) 1, 2, 3. Take the bottom down. Can we do one more set? Arms forward, arms up.

Right leg up, 1, 2, 3. Bottom down, arms reach. Last one. It's 1, 2, 3. Bottom down, arms reach.

Now take your hands back. Pause. Can we transition to plank from here? I'm gonna bend my knees, and then I'm gonna take my left arm off the mat, reach it to the ceiling, start to pivot, and then rotate into that plank. I tried to be super stealth with hat. I hope it looked like it was stealth.

Now hold it here. Now you're welcome to rest your knees. I just did. And then find your plank again. And if you can remember, let me show you that perfect plank.

Hands under the shoulders, knees under the hips. You can take one foot back, hook it. Take the other foot back and hook it, okay. Now let's take it from a narrow plank to a wide plank. Feet a little bit wider.

Take your left hand out to your right hand, and then bring it to the side, and then take your right hand over to your left hand. Just a little side to side plank. Now these can be done on your knees as well. I'll show you. You just put your knees down and then work from here.

I'm gonna lift my legs back up. And now, as much as I dislike pushups, I do like plank. Because when your arm is under your shoulder, it's pretty strong, and I'm able to do it. And I feel pretty good, okay. Now, as the right hand comes to the left-hand, turn to your side plank.

Arm reaches to the ceiling, squeeze those inner thighs together. Rotate, shift, side plank. Squeeze, and then down. Another hazard on the high mat. Make sure that the hand lands on the mat when you're doing the side plank reach.

And then the other way, and come into that rotation. And then one more. And then back to your plank and drop the knees. So I am gonna add a couple of exercises that I've done in some of the other classes from the series just to give you another variation. You can stick to what we were doing or just hold plank.

Hands underneath the shoulders, back to your plank position. I am gonna go side plank, but this time I'm gonna add a twist. I'm gonna take my right hand over to my left hand, find side plank. And I'm going to twist four times. One, back to side plank, and exhale, two, and rotate.

And three, keep going. And four. And then I'm gonna turn, go to the other side, rotate. I'm going into that twist, one. I want you to think about how the abs work here as though your legs are suspended, and you really need to use those abs to pull the hips up.

And then I'm gonna take it back to the other side and add one more variation. Stay with me if you can. Taking it to side plank, rotate, hold and twist. Then that right leg comes up four times. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Side plank with control, hold. Turn, other side. Rotate, twist. Left leg up, 1, 2, 3, 4. Twist, back to plank.

And then the knees come down, and you stretch. Let's go ahead and take it to the belly. And let's add some more extension for opposition of what we just did. So now I'm lying on my belly, and I'm gonna go ahead and take my right hand down to the mat, and my right forearm, I'm sorry, my right forehead to my hand. And then I have my left hand, if you can see, next to my shoulder.

So what I'm gonna do here is I'm gonna press into my left hand as I press into my right hand, and I'm gonna come into a slight rotation with extension. Now, if this doesn't work for you, then go back to your press-ups. So just be real careful here. Let's try this again. Set up again.

Right hand is underneath my forehead. My forearm is down and my elbow is pointing. If this was a compass, it's pointing east, okay? My left palm is next to my shoulder pointing north, okay. And my feet are pressing into the mat.

Let's do this again. Pushing up both palms, come into a diagonal rotation. So I'm looking towards the left corner of my mat, and I'm coming back down. Let's do this again. Lift and then lower.

Now, if you want to add a little bit more to this one, if you want to make it a little bit more challenging. You can lift the opposite leg. So I'm gonna lift the right leg into a slight extension and lower. And again, right leg lifts and lower. Two more, lift into that extension.

Last one. Extend and lower down. Now let's try the other side. Left palm down. Left forearm faces west.

Right palm to the right side of the right shoulder. My elbows down on both. I'm gonna just push into my palms and turn to the right side and lower. So I'm doing an extension with rotation. I'm pressing my feet down so that my back feels supported.

This should be a spiral. So it should be coming from one side of the hip up towards the right shoulder, and not just a twist in the lumbar spine. So if you're just feeling a twist in the lumbar spine, I need you to stop this exercise because it's just too much on that lower back. Now I'm gonna add the left leg. So the left leg lifts as I turn, and then I lower.

And then it lifts, and then I lower. Continue, inhale. This is a little bit more challenging. Be really careful as you lift that leg. One more time, and then lower everything back down.

Bring your hands now by your side. And then I want you to take those arms up please into a W position. Squeeze those shoulder blades together. Let's try the swan. Palm down, eyes lift, you push up.

Find that bow shape and connect energy out of the toes to the head. As you come down towards the mat, release the arms to a hover, and your toes will reach towards the ceiling. And then you catch the mat. Inhale, exhale, lift. Or switch the breath, exhale, inhale.

Whatever works for you. Three more. Three, two, one. And then go ahead and sit back to your child's pose. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, and then slide those arms back and breathe.

Hopefully that felt good for you guys. We're gonna go ahead and place the hands back onto the mat and curl the toes under. And lift back up into your pike position to find your standing position again. So walk your feet forward to your hands or your hands to your feet, whatever is easiest for you. And then roll yourself all the way back up.

We're gonna do a little flexion extension standing. So toes pointing forward, feet under the hips. Soften the knees. Take your arms out in front of you and press your lower back to the back wall. As you round your spine, scoop your abdominals in as though you're standing on a Cadillac or a trapeze, and you're pulling on those springs, okay.

And then stand up, and then open up your chest and find extension. So you're flexing, bending the knees rounding the spine, and then extending. So a little standing cat cow almost, flex. But I want you to really feel connected at the feet. Again towards the glutes and hips.

And the shoulders. Make sure that the head is consistent with the movement of the torso. And what you're also getting here is retraction, protraction of the shoulder blades. And without that hip extension flexion, or back extension flexion, it's gonna be hard for you to find. One more time as you flex, and then back up.

And then back to your squats. Here's your final and last set of squats. And if you feel like it, you could add a little plyometric jump. Get all the energy from the feet to the hands, to the crown of the head, get that blood flowing all over your body. Make sure that you feel that nice connection for 4 and 3, 2, and 1.

Let's go ahead and walk in place because the blood will distribute and you might feel a little bit dizzy, and that marching in place can be really helpful. A little quick stretch here. If you guys could take your right foot forward, and then curl those toes up and do a little standing hamstring stretch. So just like we did on the mat in the beginning, and then up, and let's try the other side. A little stretch.

I encourage you to stretch with me. I'm guilty of not watching the last few minutes of an exercise video when it comes to cooling down. But it is nice because it does center you here at the end. Open up that hip, and I'll turn for you. So I'm grabbing my foot, and you can hold on for balance somewhere, but make sure you're getting that posterior tilt of the pelvis so the quad actually does stretch and the hip flexor here.

And then the other side, and then stretch it out. Find a non-moving object to stare at. Yeah, and let's reach the right arm in front and hook with the opposite. And just stretch that shoulder. We did do a lot of upper body.

And then the other side. And stretch it out. And then just take your arms behind you. I'm gonna turn around. You can see my backside.

You're gonna grab onto your right wrist and pull that wrist down. And look to the opposite shoulder and stretch, getting that length in your neck. And then grab the other wrist, turn to the other side, and stretch. And then reach those arms up, take a huge deep inhale breath. Open up your heart, press those hips forward, hands together, hands to heart center.

You guys are all done this morning or afternoon or late evening. Thank you so much for joining me for Pilates power mat.

Level Up: On the Mat

This Video
Full-Body, Dynamic, Creative, Power

Jun 24, 2021
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Pilates Power Mat
Delia Buckmaster
50 min
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1 person likes this.
My general criticism of most mat classes is there isn't much standing leg work or upper body work.  However, this class contains both, so get ready for a thorough workout. While there are no pushups, you are going to feel like you did some...guaranteed.  I wish more mat classes were structured in this fashion. Great Class! I was challenged. I had fun & sweated. Thanks Again Delia:) 
Federica A
Thank you Delia, loved this class!
What do you mean you don't want to squeeze your glutes when you're on your belly doing extensions? I've heard that before, but I find myself squeezing like crazy, is it wrong?
Did this in the morning hour ... now I am awake 😉 thank you 👍🇩🇰
Can’t wait to do this class, very powerful indeed
I did some things I thought I couldn't do... Thank you Delia! Great energy and cueing!
Great class. Thank you.
so many gems in this the tie in from beg to end!  thank you - can't wait to share your wisdom....will give you full credit!  rockon
Great class.  I really liked the extension with rotation prone on the mat.  I've never done that before.  Thank you!
Martha Valentine
Excellent class- I love her preparation then transitions to each movement.
I feel great! Thank you Delia.
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